About the Project

Chronicling Resistance is an archival and exhibitions project, fellowship program, and collaboration among the Fellows, the Free Library of Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries (PACSCL). Chronicling Resistance aims to do four things:

Increase public recognition and understanding of the history of marginalized groups and people in Philadelphia;

Deepen the relationship between traditional archives and activists who might use the information held there

Produce models for how public libraries can empower activists and traditionally marginalized communities in preserving their own history and partner in their social change work; and

Produce models for how public libraries can think more broadly about how they present archival materials.


Chronicling Resistance began at PACSCL in 2018 with two goals: 1) amplify stories of resistance in Philadelphia’s historic archival collections, and 2) preserve records of today’s acts of resistance. With generous funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and additional funding from the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, it expanded in 2020 to an archives and exhibitions project that will take its participants and Philadelphia through the end of 2022.

Meet the Activist Curator Fellows.

Read more about the history of Chronicling Resistance here.

View the project’s Guiding Principles here.










The Chronicling Resistance Team

Mariam Williams, Project Director and Co-PI

Janine Pollock, Co-PI, Chief of Special Collections Division, Free Library of Philadelphia

Sarah Horowitz (Curator of Rare Books & Manuscripts and Head of Quaker & Special Collections at Haverford College), Steering Committee Chair and PACSCL Board representative

Yolanda Wisher, Consulting Curator

Lois Cheaye, Project Assistant, January. 2022-present

Steering Committee

Representatives from PACSCL’s member institutions are undertaking this project alongside the project director and assistant. They bring decades of experience as librarians and archivists and are actively engaged in work that (re)considers archives and libraries as tools of resistance.

Steering Committee:

  • Sarah Horowitz, Steering Committee Chair, Curator of Rare Books & Manuscripts and Head of Quaker & Special Collections at Haverford College
  • Lois Fischer Black, Curator of Special Collections, Lehigh University Linderman Library
  • Joshua K. Blay, Museum Registrar and Collections Manager, ‎City of Philadelphia City Archives
  • Caitlin Goodman, Curator, Rare Books Department, Free Library of Philadelphia
  • Curtis Small, Jr., Senior Assistant Librarian and Coordinator, Public Services, University of Delaware Libraries
  • Jasmine Smith, African American History Subject Specialist and Reference Librarian, Library Company of Philadelphia